Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sept. 22nd

We're back at the Vatican so Rick can climb the Dome of St. Peter's. I'm sitting at the 8th column in from the end on the left if your facing St. Peter's.

Things learned so far in Rome:

1) The city is amazing- There are so many antiquities that if they couldn't build up to and into the antiquities they'd have to move Rome some place else. Literally, they have brand new apartment buildings built into 2,000 year old ruins!

2) Sitting at an outdoor cafe, listening to music and enjoying a city that truly doesn't sleep is wonderfully invigorating. Two nights ago, we had dinner at the oldest restaurant in Piazza Navonna. We dined while listening to an outdoor Spanish concert. We then wandered to the Pantheon and listened to a wonderful opera performance. It was topped off by a stroll by the Trevi fountain to throw in our coins..and stopping near street musicians for a gelatto. It was after 10:00 pm and there were so many people on the streets you would have thought it was a Saturday afternoon.

3) The Vatican is truly awe inspiring. Everything is on such a huge scale. We spent 4 1/2 hours here yesterday and there is still so much more to see. The priests have definitely learned a thing or two about commercialism as there is a shopping kiosk in every nook or cranie.. but not so much about preservation. They could use a little advice on temperature control and atmosphere..

And what can you say about Michelangelo.. holy bajoley.. did he churn out work.. except for his little snafu putting those horns on Moses, he really was extraordinary!

4) Romans are very big on ceiling art--oy our aching necks.. We can't even imagine how it was done.. we got dizzy just looking at the art, let alone painting it!

5) The Borghese Gallery is a treasure of art and they know from preservation... the contrast in colors and definition of art done at the same time as that at the Vatican.. well they should be taking the Vatican in hand...

6) I find myself fascinated by the Mosaics created 2,000 years ago... how intricate they are and how the colors endure, how dramatic the effect..

7) We are pleased to report that at least 25% of taxi cab drivers are honest and do not pad the fare by taking you meandering around the city.

8) The pasta here is terrific no matter where you eat. The chicken is fine as long as you bring your own saw to cut it with.

9) Almost everyone speaks some English, but if you even try Italian, faces light up and you become family..

10) Within the past three days I've spoken English, French, Spanish, Hebrew and Italian... Rome is truly universal!

11) The Pope is useless in doing anything for hot flashes..

12) The CIA has undertaken a new spy tactic... I swear I've seen Leon Panetta all over Rome..

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